Everlasting Bubbles

Using microparticles and a mixture of water and glycerol, researchers made bubbles last for more than a year.

Soap bubbles are delicate and ephemeral, always a breath away from collapse due to thinning driven by gravity or evaporation. But that frailty can be countered. Adding microparticles to the bubble’s shell in place of surfactants counters drainage and makes bubbles last for tens of minutes (left). Adding glycerol to the mix takes things a step further (right). The glycerol, which absorbs water from the surrounding air, counteracts the evaporation, allowing bubbles to remain intact — with no discernible change to their radius — almost indefinitely. So far the researchers have made such a bubble last for 465 days! (Image and research credit: A. Roux et al.; via APS Physics)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.